Houston accepts $5 million grant for temporary housing, extra supplies in coronavirus battle

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he is in negotiations with hotels regarding temporary quarantine sites for first responders, city employees and homeless residents. (Courtesy Houston HTV)
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he is in negotiations with hotels regarding temporary quarantine sites for first responders, city employees and homeless residents. (Courtesy Houston HTV)

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he is in negotiations with hotels regarding temporary quarantine sites for first responders, city employees and homeless residents. (Courtesy Houston HTV)

Coronavirus testing and temporary housing in Houston could get a boost from a new influx of funding from the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Houston City Council approved the acceptance of a $5 million grant that can be allocated for new care sites for coronavirus patients, temporary housing for quarantines, mental health services, more testing staff for 24-hour testing, more protective equipment for health care workers and telemedicine services.


How the city will utilize the grant is still being determined, although Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city is currently working on an initiative to reserve 180 hotel rooms as quarantine sites for exposed first responders and city employees as well as homeless residents.

“It’s pretty much a broad base grant coming from the CDC to combat and fight the coronavirus,” Turner said.

Houston Director of Emergency Medicine Dr. David Persse also said that without additional resources, a current delay in shipments of test kits and protective equipment may slow down the city’s efforts to offer free coronavirus testing at the drive-thru site that opened March 20.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.